Thug Workout 103: T.I.’s Trap Muzik

Thug Workout 103: T.I.’s Trap Muzik

Week 3 Day 3: Apollon (2/3)

Stage 1 – 25 x Burpees, 400m run, 50 x Squats, 400m Run
Stage 2 – 25 x Burpees, 400m run, 50 x Squats, 400m Run

Went into this one a little naïve after managing the Burpee holocaust that was the Aprhrodite. Turns out attempting to anything other than shitting yourself after stage one with any degree of precision is nigh on impossible. About as much form as Mel Gibson pissed on a chat show. The initial twenty five Burpees knocked the wind from my sales fairly promptly, the run kicked me when I was down and I might as well have replaced all the muscle in my thighs with Billy Bear ham by the time I got to the final fifty squats and four hundred metre run. By the end I was soaked in sweat and think I might have seen Jesus.

Listening to: T.I.’s Trap Muzik (2002)

Luckily I pulled another classic from the vaults for this one. T.I.’s Trap Muzik. The record that (arguably) brought the term “trap” to a wider audience than any previous release (although the term had been hanging around Southern hip-hop for a fair while at this point, most prevalently in Outkast’s Snappin’ & Trappin’ on the 1999 classic Stankonia)

Opening with the phenomenal title track featuring Mac Boney (who according to a brief Spotify scan is still smashing out mixtapes at a similar rate to McDonalds dish out heart disease) breezing through the laidback (and somewhat underwhelming) fare of I Can’t Quit, the album then settles into a nice little rhythm of a couple of classic gangster style cuts and the odd sensitive or more reflective numbers.

No More Talk is a definite early highlight, the line “I’m either running for my life or I’m just waiting to die” a great example of T.I.’s somewhat overlooked constant sense of nihilism. This sort of bleak shit popped up all the in 80s post-punk, 90s grunge and early 00s Nu-Metal (sorry; I said it) but in my opinion it wasn’t until the rise of the harder end of hip-hop that this type of thing really started to sound believeable.
Doin My Job is another great example of T.I’s flexibility in approach; excusing drug dealing through the form of soulful balladry the track sees a nimble flow from T.I. expertly weaved around a Kanye West beat just at the start of his meteoric rise (before he got all shit auto-tune and social media grandstanding.

There’s far too many highpoints on this record to discuss without going track by track (and sod that I’ve got a day-job to do) but overall this album led the way for many of the southern artists who would almost completely reshape US hip-hop over the following decade. The release is occasionally blighted by some overly clumsy sweet boi riddims (see also: Trick Daddy) but at least, if nothing else, T.I. laid his wares out early on this release and didn’t suddenly hop on all that shit once he got commercially popular…

In saying that though this album also contained the anthemic ‘Rubberband Man’ produced by David Banner (a beat so good he ended up ripping his own sound off on multiple occasions) and ‘24s’ produced by long-time T.I. collaborator DJ Toompf; a beat that can probably still stand up against most contemporary beats without sounding even close to out of step with modern sounds.

Without a doubt T.I. never sounded this hungry again.

On that note I’m really fucking hungry so see you on day four.

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